Murder Suspect Freed After Two Years in State Custody

23 Aug
English: Map of the districts of Banjul divisi...

Map of the districts of Banjul division in The Gambia. Created by Rarelibra 16:43, 14 September 2006 (UTC) for public domain use, using MapInfo Professional v8.5 and various mapping resources. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By Binta A Bah

Murder suspect Musa Faal has been freed from state custody by a High Court in Banjul after being held for two years by the Government of The Gambia.

On Tuesday, he gave a “smile of relief” after a long period of “gloom and uncertainty” when Justice Emmanuel Nkea, presiding, decided to discharge him.

He was charged with murder in 2011 have been detained for two years without trial. His case was heard by a Magistrates Court in Banjul which transferred the matter to the High Court.

Unfair

Last week, Justice Nkea ordered the prosecution to file proper charges or have the accused discharged.  He described Musa’s ordeal as “unfair”.

His release followed arguments by his lawyer Sagarr Jahateh that the accused be “released on bail or discharged by the court”. A State Counsel had earlier informed the court that the “case file is missing”.

“Considering the fact that the accused has been in custody for two years, it’s not justifiable to have the accused in custody,” Nkea ruled.

“I will have the accused discharge and the matter be struck out from the court,” he added.

But, Nkea said the State can file fresh charges against the accused if it wishes to do so.

FPI research indicates several people are held by the state without being brought to trial.

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